Some households paying Rs 10-15 thousand to panchayat middlemen for receiving IAY grants
Year Sanctioned Houses Completed Houses
2011-12 1,75,251 1,74,062
2012-13 1,80,850 1,72,174
2013-14 1,38,695 53,354
2014-15 1,60,867 894 (Till Feb)
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, April 21: Despite crores being pumped by the Centre, implementation of the Indira Awaas Yoja (IAY) in Assam has been tardy due to a host of irregularities, depriving many beneficiaries of the benefits of the rural housing scheme.
From the fincial year 2011-12 to 2014-15 (up to February), a total Rs 3,343.6 crore has been sanctioned under the scheme for Assam. During this period, 6,55,663 houses were sanctioned.
But, only 4,00,484 houses were completed during the period. The remaining 2,55,179 houses are yet to be completed, official sources said.
There is a plethora of allegations over the misuse of the scheme in Assam.
A major allegation is regarding involvement of middlemen, most of whom are either panchayat members or their associates. Many beneficiaries reported the role of middle men in the IAY disbursement of money, despite being paid through bank accounts. It was alleged that the commission agents charge a certain amount – ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 - from the beneficiary for disbursement of the amount.
As a result, many houses remained incomplete while the quality of others were below standard.
The 29-year old scheme, first launched by the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1985, has been subject to misuse across several states due to the absence of a proper monitoring and implementation strategy.
The IAY, which was launched in 1985 as a sub-scheme of Jawahar Rozgar Yoja, is being implemented as an independent scheme since 1996.
Arbitrariness is also reported in the selection of households under IAY. Many beneficiaries have put in their own money in making the house.
The objective of the scheme is construction of free houses to members of the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes, freed bonded labourers in rural areas and also to non SC/ST rural poor living below poverty line. The beneficiaries are selected from the Below Poverty Line (BPL) list approved by the Grama Sabha. At least 60 per cent of the total IAY allocation during a fincial year should be utilized for construction/upgradation of dwelling units for SC/ST BPL rural households.
In Assam, each beneficiary is entitled to get an amount of Rs 75,000 – shared between the Centre and State in 90:10 ratio.